Association of Nova Scotia Museums

Unlocking Community Museum Collections 


This year ANSM has received a federal grant to develop a digitization strategy for cultural collections. Many community museums in Nova Scotia contain artifacts associated with Nova Scotia’s four founding cultures: Mi’kmaq, African Nova Scotians, Acadians, and Gaels. The management of these artifacts most often follows historical (colonial) methods and as a result disassociates these artifacts from their cultural context. This project will develop a digitization strategy for cultural artifacts with improved and culturally appropriate information on CollectiveAccess, the open-source database used by ANSM’s Advisory Service members, as well as 100+ museums across Canada. This digitization strategy will eventually lead to these artifacts becoming accessible on, ANSM’s collections portal, which will increase cultural groups’ access to these collections. They will also be uploaded to Artefacts Canada.

Developing the digitization strategy will include an assessment of cultural collections in ANSM Advisory Service member museums. ANSM will consult with leaders and key organizations from each community group as well as hold 9 consultation sessions. These sessions will happen around the province, in areas appropriate to the different cultural groups, and will bring together both the museums and community members to talk about museum collections; how to improve info in the records as well as access to them, identify priority items and stories, and build and improve relationships between community museums and cultural communities. The results of these consultation sessions, along with research, will be used to form the digitization strategy and updates to CollectiveAccess that will more easily allow artifacts to include culturally appropriate information.

Acadian Community Sessions

Location                       Date                            Time                            Venue
Pubnico, NS                  July 12, 2022                1:00-3:00 pm                Musee Acadiens des Pubnicos
Chéticamp, NS              October 14, 2022          2:00-4:00 pm                La Salle des Aînés

African Nova Scotian Community Sessions

The final Unlocking Community Museum Collections session in Amherst is postponed until the new year. After conversations with CANSA (Cumberland African Nova Scotian Association) it has been decided to reschedule this session. We look forward to this conversation in 2023.

Location                      Date                             Time                            Venue 
Digby, NS                     July 11, 2022                 1:00-3:00 pm                NSCC (Learning Commons)
Cherry Brook, NS          August 4, 2022               6:00-8:00 pm               Black Cultural Centre

Gaelic Community Sessions

Location                      Date                             Time                            Venue
Iona, NS                      July 27, 2022                  2:00-4:00 pm                Highland Village
Antigonish, NS             August 22, 2022              1:00-3:00 pm                Hall of the Clans, Angus L Macdonald Library 

Mi’kmaq Community Sessions

Location                     Date                               Time                           Venue 
Membertou, NS           July 26, 2022                   2:00-4:00 pm               Membertou Heritage Park
Millbrook, NS              August 3, 2022                 10:00-12:00 pm            Millbrook Heritage Centre
Halifax, NS                 Sept 6, 2022                     9:00-12:00 pm             Mi’kmaw Friendship Centre


Venue capacities are limited and light refreshments will be served. For this reason we ask community members and heritage organizations to register. Please contact us at  if you have any questions.